Date: Wed, 29 May 1996 13:58:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rich Graves
To: "Jeanne A. E. DeVoto"
Subject: Re: University threatening people over links

On Wed, 29 May 1996, Jeanne A. E. DeVoto wrote:

> (The key passage in the threatening letter this person received appears to
> be: "By publishing the address of the web site, you have both drawn the
> attention of others to it and have provided the means by which the
> defamatory material posted on the site may be viewed. That constitutes a
> re-publication of the defamation." Is this the usual understanding of
> republication? If a magazine, say, printed the name of a book that
> contained defamatory material, would the magazine be liable as a
> republisher?)
[referenced article <4ogcsl$> snipped]

These questions answer themselves. I can only hope that these events do not represent the best of the University of Western Australia. While I'm not convinced that the morally charged term "whistleblower" is warranted, the University has clearly overstepped its bounds here. This "republishing" charge is laughable; maybe these people belong in the Georgia legislature. When will people learn?

I think this case highlights a couple of trends:

1. The political power of the net (take note, Jim Warren).

2. The elimination of international boundaries and the death of "local" (take note, Jon Noring).

In February, John Howard opened a Ku Klux Klan museum and apparel store, called The Redneck Shop, in Laurens, S. Car. Asked by a reporter what the reaction was by townspeople, Howard said, "The only people I've had a problem with, who took it as an insult and a racial situation, have been blacks. I didn't know blacks here were so prejudiced." [Louisville Courier-Journal-AP, 3-7-96]